Drilling valve-seat carrier

The valve-seat carrier is part of a multi-tool used by Baker Hughes Drilling Services to drill and acquire drilling data from oilfield wells. On-hand inventory was depleted when the manufacturing contractor stopped shipments due to quality control issues in its process. The vendor’s forecasted downtime would result in significant revenue losses for Drilling Services’ global operations. 

Original version

The original version was a steel pipe with eight welded round bars on the internal diameter. Even at its best, the vendor’s manufacturing process had a quality-control success rate less than 50% and a high associated scrap ratio. So we created a new design for single-component casting with 17-4 PH stainless steel that optimized flow and increased part life. But the casting vendor quoted a lead time of 26 weeks, which was not acceptable.

Formyst version

We redesigned the valve-seat carrier for additive manufacturing—as a single piece with no welds—and upgraded the material to nickel alloy 718 for superior strength and durability. We reduced lead time from 26 weeks to 2-3 weeks, and the part itself has a 400% longer expected life. Drilling Services has switched all standard ordering to this new additive version with higher reliability and on-demand ordering.

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